on September 4, 2014 by test_editor in Archive_2014, Print Articles, September, Comments Off on September 4, 2014: Walk in, Our Door is Open; A New Clinic Opens on Parkdale.

September 4, 2014: Walk in, Our Door is Open; A New Clinic Opens on Parkdale.

September 4, 2014: Walk in, Our Door is Open;
A New Clinic Opens on Parkdale.
By Allyson Domanski.

Hintonburg has a new free community service. If ever you need someone to talk to, The Walk-in Counselling Clinic can provide immediate support to individuals, couples and families struggling to strike a balance with a variety of life challenges.

The clinic treats issues related to mental health, emotional health and addictions. Services are accessible to all regardless of ethnicity, race, age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, income, and political or religious affiliation. The clinic is located within Family Services Ottawa at 312 Parkdale Avenue.

This no-fee service is operational at six different locations seven days a week but in our neighbourhood, its hours are Tuesdays noon to 8:00p.m. (last walk-in session, 6:30p.m.) and Saturdays noon to 5:00p.m. (last walk-in, 3:30p.m.) Clients are seen on a first-come, first-served basis. No referrals or appointments are necessary. Just do as the name says and walk in.

“All of us, at some time in our lives, can find ourselves facing unexpected challenges,” explained Rebecca Fromowitz, Assistant Director of Jewish Family Services Ottawa, the lead agency for The Walk-in Counselling Clinic. “For this reason, we want to make sure that people know we are here when they most need support, and that help can be immediate and accessible.”

By providing support to people when they are most in need and most open to make a change, professional counsellors at The Walk-in Counselling Clinic can help prevent situations from escalating into a crisis. Until now, people seeking immediate counselling and support had to be referred by health care providers and social service agencies.

Research shows that the role of walk-in clinics has been considerable in reducing pressure and wait times on primary and emergency health care. Family Services Ontario estimates the health care cost savings for Ontario are approximately 10 million dollars per year. Furthermore, the majority of Ontario walk-in clinic clients report significant improvements in their wellbeing, including a reduction of stress and negative symptoms. Over 50% of clients required no further service after visiting a walk-in counselling clinic.

The clinic has already provided immediate crisis counselling and support to over seven hundred people in the Greater Ottawa, North Renfrew and Cornwall areas. The Ottawa clinic, a partnership of five family service agencies in the Champlain region and funded by the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, is one of 34 walk-in counselling clinics operating in Ontario.

In order to reach a large and diverse audience and better inform the general public about its free services, The Walk-in Counselling Clinic recently launched a website ( http://www.walkincounselling.com ), a Twitter profile ( @walkincounsel ) and a Facebook page ( /TheWalkInCounsellingClinic ). For more information about The Walk-in Counselling Clinic you can visit the local clinic at Family Services Ottawa, 312 Parkdale Ave, ( 613-725-3601 ); http://www.familyservicesottawa.org .

Front of building

Wise counsel.

Photo Caption: A new clinic at 312 Parkdale, between Wellington and Scott, will offer free counselling services in the west end. Photo by Tim Thibeault.

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